Francisco Lindor on 100 wins: It's special, but Cleveland Indians have bigger goals in mind
CLEVELAND -- An American League-record 22-game winning streak? Check.
The longest overall and road winning streaks in franchise history? Yep.
Winning 100 regular-season games for just the third time in team history and locking up a second straight American League Central Division Championship? Absolutely.
Despite experiencing each of those things during the 2017 regular season, the Cleveland Indians have loftier goals in mind, especially after coming up one win short in the 2016 World Series last November.
“It’s a big accomplishment, but we all understand that’s not our goal,” Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said. “Our goal was to make it to the playoffs, and then, once we’re in the playoffs, go as deep as we can in the playoffs.
“It’s fun, winning a lot of games. That’s at least 100 days in the season that we’re playing music, but that’s not our goal. It’s something amazing, special. It will be there for a long time. We’re just enjoying it and focusing on our daily job, which is to win.”
At one point in the second half of the 2017 season, the Indians were hovering around the .500 mark and had lost five of their six games on a west coast trip out of the MLB All-Star Game break in mid-July. However, since then, the Indians set a club and American League record with 22 straight wins, as well as a new franchise mark for the most consecutive road wins (14).
Those streaks have added up to just the third 100-win season for the Indians (100-59).
“Definitely, everybody went into that second gear where it was like ‘Alright boys, we’ve got to step it up,’” Lindor said. “It’s not like we were saying it because nobody here was talking about it. Everybody was just focusing on their daily job, but for sure, guys definitely stepped up and we became more of a unit.
“Everybody was contributing, trying to enjoy the ride. Then, we went into those 22 games that definitely made us get a lot closer to each other and to enjoy the game and understand we’re going to have ups and downs and belief in ourselves.”
Currently, at 100-59, the Indians need two wins or two losses from the Houston Astros over the final four days of the regular season to clinch the best record in the American League and earn home-field advantage through at least the AL Championship Series.
“We need to keep winning because Houston is and I’m not downplaying it because it’s really cool,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
“I’m proud of our guys. It’s meaningful. It means that we won a lot of games, but we have a lot more, hopefully, a lot more baseball ahead of us. But I think it’s okay to take a moment and be proud of what the guys have done.”